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The state’s Board of Higher Education on Thursday rejected the University of Massachusetts’ plan to acquire the Southern New England School of Law and create the state’s first public law school. The board voted 8-3 to reject the proposal by UMass administrators, which had met with strident opposition by leaders of the state’s private law schools. University administrators wanted to merge the 260-student law school, which is not accredited by the American Bar Association, with the existing UMass-Dartmouth campus. Southern New England agreed to donate its campus and other assets to the state, which in turn would accept $2.5 million in debt. UMass’ Board of Trustees approved the merger in December, but it needed the backing of the higher education board to go forward. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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